by Robert Machado

Yesterday, we were doing an interview for "Toronto Hispano" and the journalist asked me what would be an scenario I wouldn't like to work. As a bolt, I answered: "photographing a wedding outdoors and with harsh light ( from 11.00 am - 4.00pm)".

After I hung up, I meditated in the subject a little further. Why had I answered so quickly?
Because, every photographer knows the challenges that it represents. It is not an impossible but the challenges in lightning are overwhelming. This knowledge marks the difference in uncle's Benny photos or a professional's photos.

As a result, I decided to go in an exploration of outdoors lightning. It is going to be my first series of blogs. So if you would like to learn how to properly light outdoors please follow us in this journey. It is my intention to treat one subject per day. Today's pick is going to be SHADE.

Shade is nothing but diffused sunlight. Contrary to popular believe, shade has a very definite direction. The best shade light is found near a clearing in the woods where the trees provide an overhang above the subjects. In addition, diffuse light enters from the sides producing better modeling on the face that if we were on an open shade.

An open shade is overhead light but as seen in nature.It is somehow unflattering. The use of a reflector below the face is needed in order to fill the shadows under the eyes, chin and nose. Another choice would be the use of a  frontal flash to fill in the natural light.

Another popular misconception about shade is that is always "soft light". Specially in overcast days and near midday, shade can be harsh. It may produce bright highlights and deep shadows. If you move  your subject to a covered porch or a tree with low branches; you will see inmediately that the light is less harsh and with a good direction.

Well that is all about shade. I hope you've enjoyed those little pieces of info. Our next blog is going to be on FILL-IN LIGHT.

Until then, keep practicing!


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